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Advice on how to write a Mental Health claim to Vac?

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This is a little personal but I am looking at a release for Depression after 26 years and I am at a loss of what I should say in the VAC form. I do have a diagnosis and feel I can link a lot these issues to chronic pain from service injuries but its hard to find a way to say that in addition to that military service seems to have just deteriorated my mental health over time.
In a perfect world someone has a template but advice on what and how to express it is appreciated. Part of me feels I should use the whole 3000 characters on the form and I am at 1500.
The world of VAC mental health are new to me this past year. It is embarrasing but I have figured out I need to start asking for help in life bottling everything in was not an effective strategy.
 

Fishbone Jones

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The first thing you need to do is open an account with My VAC https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/e_services?actionName=http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/e_services Then you want to go to the nearest Legion and contact their Service Officer. They will sit down with you and walk you through the whole process. Much, much easier than getting a million different answers off the internet. The process to file is not complicated, but is fraught with procedures and duplication, that has to follow a certain path or the whole thing turns into a nightmare. Once you know it, you can file your own claims through My VAC. Probably not the answer you wanted, but one that will point you down the right path.
 
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Legion reps are amazing.
My Legion rep continually failed to get back to me for months when I asked for help so a little jaded against them.
That said I was able to submit myself and the claim was approved insanely fast so VAC takes the mental health ones very seriously it seems.
I would say they lowballed me a little at 40% but I can appeal if required. Focused on getting as well as possible now.
I wish I had not waited years to submit or gotten help earlier and not needed the claim at all. That said I thought I was on top of my issues and did not want to admit or show any weakness even to myself(stupid).
 

brihard

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Largely agreed with the above, save that I would skip the local Legion branch and go right to a full time provincial level service officer. Branch service officers are prt time volunteers. Some are amazing, some are very much not. The full time service officers are paid Legion staff who do this as their primary employment, and local branch SOs are mostly just an intake for them. There’s no requirement to start at branch level.

Scroll to your province on this list and pick and of the service officers named, and reach out to them. They’re very experienced and effective.

 
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Largely agreed with the above, save that I would skip the local Legion branch and go right to a full time provincial level service officer. Branch service officers are prt time volunteers. Some are amazing, some are very much not. The full time service officers are paid Legion staff who do this as their primary employment, and local branch SOs are mostly just an intake for them. There’s no requirement to start at branch level.

Scroll to your province on this list and pick and of the service officers named, and reach out to them. They’re very experienced and effective.

I would encourage others to reach out to the provintial Legion officers as well.
I may have had a negative experience but I should have simply reached out to a seperate rep instead of writing them off based on one officers failings.
 
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